Craving South Indian Onion Tomato Chutney? Make It In 6 Steps

If you’re a fan of South Indian cuisine, you’re likely familiar with the delectable Onion Tomato Chutney. This tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet chutney is a staple accompaniment to dosas, idlis, and even plain rice.

Making this chutney at home is easier than you think, and it requires just a handful of ingredients. Follow these six simple steps to bring the authentic taste of South Indian Onion Tomato Chutney to your table.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we dive into the steps, let’s gather the ingredients:

  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (split black gram)
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Salt to taste
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Step-by-Step Recipe

Step 1: Sauté the Onions and Chilies

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the dried red chilies and sauté for a few seconds until they become aromatic. Be careful not to burn them. Add the roughly chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn golden brown. This process enhances the sweetness and depth of flavor in the chutney.

Step 2: Add Ginger and Garlic

Add the chopped ginger and garlic to the onions. Sauté for another minute until the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears. This step ensures that the ginger and garlic are well-cooked and meld seamlessly into the chutney.

Step 3: Incorporate the Tomatoes

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy. This should take about 5-7 minutes. The tomatoes will release their juices and blend with the onions, creating a rich base for the chutney. Add a pinch of salt to help the tomatoes break down faster.

Step 4: Blend to a Smooth Paste

Once the tomato-onion mixture has cooled down a bit, transfer it to a blender or food processor. Blend the mixture until you achieve a smooth paste. If you prefer a chunky chutney, you can blend it for a shorter time. Adjust the consistency by adding a little water if needed.

Step 5: Tempering the Chutney

Tempering adds an extra layer of flavor to the chutney. In the same pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then, add the urad dal and sauté until it turns golden brown. Add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) and pour this tempering over the blended chutney. Mix well.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves for a burst of color and flavor. Your South Indian Onion Tomato Chutney is now ready to be served. Enjoy it with dosas, idlis, or as a dip for snacks.

Tips for the Perfect Chutney

  1. Adjust Spice Level: If you prefer a milder chutney, reduce the number of dried red chilies. Conversely, if you like it spicier, feel free to add more chilies or even a green chili while sautéing the onions.
  2. Balance the Flavors: The key to a great chutney is balancing the flavors. If the chutney tastes too tangy, add a pinch of sugar to balance it out.
  3. Storage: Store the chutney in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for up to a week. You can also freeze the chutney in small portions and thaw as needed.
  4. Serving Suggestions: While this chutney is traditionally served with dosas and idlis, it’s also a great accompaniment to sandwiches, as a spread on toast, or even as a side with grilled meats.

Nutritional Benefits

Onion Tomato Chutney is not just delicious but also packed with nutrients. Here are some of the health benefits:

  • Onions: Rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Tomatoes: High in vitamins A and C, and lycopene, which is good for heart health.
  • Ginger and Garlic: Known for their immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Red Chilies: Provide a good amount of vitamin C and can help boost metabolism.

Final Thoughts

Making South Indian Onion Tomato Chutney at home is a rewarding experience. The vibrant colors, aromatic spices, and tangy-sweet flavor profile make it a favorite for many. Whether you’re new to South Indian cuisine or a seasoned enthusiast, this chutney is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

So, the next time you’re craving something tangy and flavorful, remember this simple recipe and enjoy the taste of South India in your home. Happy cooking!

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